If you want to translate French phrases, you've come to the right place! In this article we'll explore the various resources you can turn to for accurate French-English translation and introduce you to some of the most commonly used French phrases. Learning a new language can be daunting, but it can also be a lot of fun. Furthermore, while there is no one right way to learn French, since phrases are practical, interesting, and fun to show off to your family and friends, many people find that learning French phrases is a great way to begin building their French vocabulary.
So here are a few rules of thumb when you translate French phrases. First, to prevent embarrassing or downright incorrect translations, avoid translating expressions word for word. You might think you've got it right, but both French and English are filled with nuances that simply don't work in direct translation. For example, if you were to translate the French phrase "J'ai faim" literally, you would come up with "I have hunger" – when of course the correct translation is "I am hungry."
Secondly, be careful not to repeat back foreign languages phrases you might have heard in the movies or on TV unless you are absolutely certain you understand what they mean. French has a global reputation for being the language of love and thus it is not uncommon to hear French love phrases or romantic French expressions. For instance, if you saw the film "Moulin Rouge," you might find yourself humming the song "Voulez-vous couchez avec moi?" (Do you want to sleep with me?) However if you don't want a slap on the face, this is not a line you want to try out on a first date!
Most French travel guides include a vocabulary section where they translate French phrases for you. You can also purchase books on famous French sayings and expressions, and most beginner-level "Learn French" books include a handy list of French phrases and offer examples on how to use them correctly in conversation. Finally, if you want to learn the correct pronunciation of French words and phrases, there are many learn-French websites which feature audio with a native French speaker.
If you think your French skills are already pretty good or that you have some basic knowledge of French, here is a "translate French phrases" challenge for you! See how many of the following you understand and get correct: